By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Following the departure of Dimitris Itoudis, CSKA handed the head coaching role to Emil Rajkovic, the team announced Friday.
“It’s a big honor but in the same time a big responsibility to be the head coach of such a glorious club with a great history like CSKA Moscow, especially approaching 100 years of the club’s existence,” said the new head coach, “I am really proud to receive the invitation, and appreciate the trust of CSKA management and owners from Nornickel. Altogether we will work with great dedication so the team will be able to play modern and exciting basketball that will be interesting to our fans. At the same time we will be focused on winning every game we play and develop our players to the maximum capacity of their potential.”
Rajkovic, 43, penned a two-year contract. Following the decision of Euroleague Basketball to exclude Russian teams from the 2022-23 playing field, the next season will feature the team based in Moscow playing in the VTB United League.
“We had several conversations, only by video link so far, and were impressed by Emil’s basketball education, his passion and ambitions, his ability to build a team, create the chemistry necessary to win and establish contact with players of all ages and nationalities,” team president Andrey Vatutin commented on the hiring, “Although his resume does not yet have experience in big clubs, still the ability to achieve results, overcoming difficulties, and obvious progress as a specialist are noticeable. One of the factors of this progress is the desire to master the Russian language perfectly, which Emil already speaks well. In addition, Rajkovic has worked for the VTB League teams over the past four seasons – which is especially important now that we will not play in the Euroleague – he knows the players, coaches, and many of the nuances of playing in the tournament. We wish Emil to quickly settle into a new place and become a co-author of new big victories for CSKA. In turn, the club will do everything possible to make the coach feel like a part of the club’s family.”
The 2019 VTB United League Coach of the Year spent the 2021-22 season as the Avtodor play-caller. Previous jobs include Astana, Arged BM Slam Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski, MZT, Slask Wroclaw, and Rabotnicki.
Photo Credit: CSKA Moscow Twitter